The Hamptons real estate scene has been in turmoil lately, with local appraiser George Simpson first filing, then last year withdrawing, a lawsuit against multiple area brokerages, saying that they are anticompetitive because they use a web-based listing exchange called OREX (Open RealNet Exchange). Subscription to the system can cost $40,000, reports Candace Taylor of The Real Deal, a real estate trade magazine. With such a high price for data, Simpson argued, big Hamptons firms and boutiques -- including the Corcoran Group, Prudential Douglas Elliman, and Saunders and Associates -- had an advantage over the little guys.
However, in reality, the issue is not OREX versus the Hamptons MLS -- which is public and available at www.mlsli.com. It's how to find the choicest Hamptons properties, many of which are not listed at all. Presumably the House of Gaga will do a good job sniffing them out, but I wonder how she'll feel living in a world where she'll struggle to be the most flamboyant presence. I don't think Sean Combs, who's been known to make a few spectacular appearances himself, will fold without a fight.
On the other hand, Gaga, who has tweeted that she lives "on the road with my props and wigs," may be happy to help find them a home -- sand and all.
Image by Flickr User Manuelt15, CC 2.0